Lisa, a client, writes, “I don’t know why I ate crap at the mall. I wasn’t even particular hungry,” in her daily report.
It seems like many of us have a lot of shopping left to do so this is worth exploring.
But this doesn’t only apply to eating crap at the mall. It applies to eating crap whenever, wherever: home, school, at a party, work, etc.
We can all learn a lot by exploring why Lisa ate what she did.
Let’s say Lisa does all the right things. She eats an MBT approved meal before she goes to the mall so she’s not physically hungry.
She even packs along a healthy snack just in case she winds up spending more time there than expected.
(I’m gushing. I’m so proud!)
Lisa is shopping along, shopping along. Buying for everyone on her list one by one. This is, of course, after she deals with the nightmare of parking and all of the excitement that comes with it.
So already she might be on edge. (Maybe not though. Lisa might love going to the mall and all of the energy it has. I’m not sure.)
Regardless, she’s focused.
Crossing things off her list left and right. “Hmm, would he like this?” “Hey sir, can I hold this shirt up to you. Yeah, he’s about that size. Perfect. It’ll work!”
After a little while of this, she decides to go to another store but first she’s lucky enough to pass the intoxicating smell of all sorts of fat, sugar and salt filling the air on the way to the next store.
Immediately, these smells and sights trigger memories and feelings. They trigger feelings of calmness, peace, tastiness and ultimately, pleasure.
But she’s not hungry. She already ate and she has work to do.
“Focus Lisa! Lots of people to buy gifts for!” she thinks to herself.
She gets back into it.
She goes into the next store looking for the perfect gift for the next person on her list. “I have no idea if she’ll like this but I think it looks kinda cool. Eh, not sure….Ah, this is it. She’ll love this!”
After this song and dance for about 45 minutes, it’s time to venture back out into the mall.
This time, she’s a tad agitated, tired, and stressed. As much fun as it is to shop for others, it’s starting to become a little annoying.
And this time, we pass the hot dog and french fry place. “Oh, I love hot dogs,” Lisa thinks to herself.
“Na, I don’t want this!” “Ugh, it looks and smells so good.” “I know I’m going to regret eating it because it’s going to make me feel bad.” “Fine, let’s just take a look at the menu. But you’re not getting anything!” “I don’t want this, I’m not even hungry!”
“Hi, can I have a hot dog and french fries please?”
DJ turn the music off.
Rrrrrr – this is when the record comes to a screeching halt.
As soon we realize we’re having this negotiation with ourselves, it’s time to think about something else. Very rarely does our long term, rational mind win a negotiation.
As soon as we’re about to negotiate with ourselves, change the channel. Focus on something else. Go to Sharper Image and sit in one of their amazing massage chairs and focus on that.
This is also at the height of the discomfort I always talk and write about. We’re in battle baby. In the midst of a strong urge. But it’s important to remember it will pass. It always does.
The best way to help it pass along as quickly as possible is to focus as intensely as we do on the urge, on something else!
THE REAL REASON WHY YOU’RE EATING CRAP…
Whether it’s at the mall, work, or home…
The underlying challenge is that is we feel entitled to reward ourselves because we’ve been working so hard for everyone else. “What about me?!”
Or maybe you’ve just been working so damn hard at work.
As a parent.
Here in lies the real reason.
We view food as a reward for all of our hard work.
Sure, the dopamine squirt we get from eating sugar, salt and fat is pleasurable. Sometimes, it might even feel like pure bliss.
Unfortunately, though, as we all know, it’s extremely fleeting. It literally goes away the moment we’re done eating it. And then all sorts of negative feelings come into play.
How else can Lisa reward herself?
Here are 4 ideas for her to use next time:
1. On the way home she can stop and get a massage or her nails done.
2. She can buy herself something as well. But only once she’s done buying for everyone else.
3. She can buy that book she’s been wanting to read.
4. She can indulge on healthy food. Why not stop at a healthy place and pick up food? (It’s fascinating how when we have a strong craving we don’t think twice about spending good money on junk food — yet, when we’re focused and on point, we question whether it’s worth spending good money on good food.)
Food is only food. It’s not our best friend. It’s not our worst enemy. And it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy food. Food IS a pleasure!
However, food isn’t a reward.
HOW TO MAKE ANYONE UPSET…
Take away their rewards. If someone is used to getting rewarded with a gold star and you suddenly take it away, they’ll get upset. Perhaps even cranky and edgy — especially, if that’s the only way they get rewarded.
If food is the only way you reward yourself the key question to answer is:
How else can you reward yourself?
If you have trouble staying consistent with your diet and/or exercise MBT is for you! (Hint: If you’re not in the shape you want to be in you’re not staying consistent — because if you were — you’d be in great shape.) Unfortunately, consistency is the hard part. Life gets in the way. Learn why MBT has been able to help 1000’s of people of all ages, sizes and shapes get the body they want, risk free.